Tom Perez pulled off a hat trick with organized labor today, following up his endorsements by United Farm Workers and United Food and Commercial Workers by earning the endorsement of the International Association of Firefighters for his campaign to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The statement reads in part:
In the race for Chair of the Democratic Party, our union believes Tom Perez is the person who has the right mix of personal background, progressive values, experience and total commitment to all workers, in all regions and states across the country to do just that.
To have Tom as the Chair of one of our nation’s two major political parties would be a significant victory for workers across America.
This endorsement represents a break from the AFL-CIO – which the IAFF is a part of – which endorsed Keith Ellison on December 8.
The AFL-CIO released a statement this morning endorsing Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) to be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The key part of the statement:
“Representative Ellison meets the high standard working people expect from leaders of our political parties,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “He is a proven leader who will focus on year-round grassroots organizing to deliver for working families across America. Under his leadership, the Democratic Party will embody the values that our members stand for every day.”
UPDATE: NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald points out a key caveat to the AFL-CIO endorsement:
The endorsement comes with an asterisk, critics note, as Ellison’s name was the only one on the AFL-CIO endorsement ballot. Trumka gave voters just three options: Support Ellison, make no endorsement, or abstain.
Harold Schaitberger, the president of the firefighters’ union, blasted the endorsement in a letter to Trumka, calling it a “contemptible…attempt at a coronation.” Schaitberger, whose union less progressive than others, added that the outcome “will not be the ‘unified endorsement’ that you hope to proclaim.”
The other thing to keep in mind is the possibility that the outgoing Secretary of Labor Tom Perez might decide to throw his hat in the ring for DNC chairman, though there are also rumors he is considering a run for the Maryland governor’s race in 2018.